Business News

LEDA's Gothreaux: ‘Expect this year to be a rough one’

by Leslie Turk

Delivering his fourth annual State of the Economy, LEDA chief doesn’t sugar coat the challenges ahead.

LEDA President and Chief Executive Officer Gregg Gothreaux, delivering his fourth annual State of the Economy Thursday at the Cajundome Convention Center, told the crowd of more than 550 business men and women to brace for a rough year in 2015, a direct result of falling oil prices.

Next year the local economy is expected to level off, he said, as business learns to adjust to an environment of lower prices, and by 2017 the economy could be back on track to the kind of substantial growth it experienced leading up to 2014 — which he called a “stellar” year.

But Gothreaux reminded the audience how much more diversified the local economy is today — particularly strong in retail, health care, financial services and technology — noting that Acadiana has a lot going for it as it weathers the downturn.

“Don’t be a pessimist and think we’re headed for a repeat of the ’80s," he said. "Be a realist. Use your Cajun ingenuity and wildcatter mentality to shine. In the past, our community and our businesses have improved and innovated...succeeded and shined in tough times. That time has come again.”

The annual luncheon is presented by ABiz and sponsored by Ahrens Investment Partners and Washington State Bank. Supporting sponsor is One Acadiana.

View an abbreviated version of the presentation here and read more about it in the July-August issue of ABiz.